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FINAL 2021-22 HUNTING/TRAPPING SEASONS APPROVED

04/10/2021

HARRISBURG, PA - The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave final approval to hunting and trapping seasons and bag limits for the 2021-22 license year.

Modifications adopted for the 2021-22 seasons include:

 

  • A statewide, 14-day concurrent antlered and antlerless firearms season, which was proposed to simplify regulations and provide increased opportunity, especially for younger hunters.

  • Expanded Sunday hunting opportunity – The hunting Sundays during the archery deer and firearms bear seasons also would be open for other species (except migratory game birds and wild turkeys) that are in season on those dates. These expansions of Sunday opportunity are the only changes adopted for small game and furbearer seasons.

  • Moving up the start of the extended bear season to begin on the firearms deer opener and include Sunday, Nov. 28 in the WMUs where the season is open.

  • The closure of the fall turkey season in WMU 5A and reductions in season length for 14 other WMUs due to declining population trends. The recommendations are in accordance with Wild Turkey Management Plan guidelines to increase hen survival.

  • The extended (post-Christmas) antlerless firearms season that traditionally has been held in certain counties in southeastern and southwestern Pennsylvania will be held in all of WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D, given that antlerless harvests are evenly distributed throughout these WMUs regardless of firearms restrictions.

  • The antlerless designation was removed from the late elk season to provide the Game Commission the flexibility to issue antlered elk licenses for this season.

 

The commissioners also set the number of antlerless deer licenses to be allocated, as well as the number of elk licenses to be allocated for the coming license year.

The board voted to allocate 925,000 antlerless deer licenses statewide, which is down from the 932,000 licenses allocated for 2020-21. The move to allow concurrent hunting of antlered and antlerless deer statewide throughout the 14-day regular firearms season decreased the number of antlerless licenses available in many Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) while goals to maintain higher harvests in WMUs affected by chronic wasting disease (CWD) led to increased license allocations there. Allocations by WMU are as follows, with the allocation from the previous license year appearing in parentheses: WMU 1A – 40,000 (49,000); WMU 1B – 32,000 (41,000); WMU 2A – 39,000 (46,000); WMU 2B – 49,000 (49,000); WMU 2C – 67,000 (58,000); WMU 2D – 74,000 (60,000); WMU 2E – 42,000 (39,000); WMU 2F – 32,000 (36,000); WMU 2G – 23,000 (27,000); WMU 2H – 9,000 (7,000); WMU 3A – 19,000 (21,000); WMU 3B – 30,000 (33,000); WMU 3C –33,000 (49,000); WMU 3D – 36,000 (36,000); WMU 4A – 50,000 (49,000); WMU 4B – 34,000 (33,000); WMU 4C – 29,000 (32,000); WMU 4D – 55,000 (45,000); WMU 4E – 42,000 (37,000); WMU 5A – 31,000 (26,000); WMU 5B – 60,000 (60,000); WMU 5C – 70,000 (70,000); and WMU 5D – 29,000 (29,000).

Hunting licenses for 2021-22 go on sale in mid-June and become effective July 1. After hunters purchase a general hunting license, they may apply for antlerless deer licenses based on staggered timelines, which will be outlined in the 2021-22 Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest, to be given free to all license buyers.

The board also voted to issue 187 elk licenses (56 antlered, 131 antlerless) across three 2021-22 seasons. For the one-week general season to run Nov. 1-6, 32 antlered and 77 antlerless tags have been allocated. In the archery season open only in select Elk Hunt Zones, to run from Sept. 11-25, 14 antlered and 15 antlerless licenses are available. And there are 10 antlered and 39 antlerless licenses available for the Jan. 1-8 late season, which in previous years had been open only to antlerless elk hunting.

The elk license allocation has increased from 2020-21, when 164 elk licenses, 36 of them for bulls, were made available. Recent aerial surveys by the Game Commission detected increased numbers of bulls, resulting in an increase in the number of bull licenses. The majority of additional antlered elk tags being made available are in hunt zones where elk-human conflicts are highest.

All elk licenses will be awarded by lottery, and hunters must apply separately for all seasons they wish to be eligible to hunt. Each application costs $11.97, meaning a hunter can enter all three drawings for $35.91. Individuals can be drawn for a maximum of one elk license per license year.

Here is a more-detailed look at the 2021-22 seasons and bag limits.

 

CONCURRENT FIREARMS DEER SEASONS ADOPTED STATEWIDE

The Board of Game Commissioners today adopted a slate of deer seasons for the 2021-22 license year. The regular firearms deer season, which begins on Saturday, Nov. 27, will allow statewide concurrent hunting for antlered and antlerless deer throughout the season’s 14 days. The season includes a day of Sunday hunting on Sunday, Nov. 28. The season ends on Dec. 11.

In adopting a statewide concurrent season, the board noted allowing antlerless deer hunting throughout the season is not intended to increase the antlerless harvest. Deer populations are managed through the allocation of antlerless licenses. On average, one antlerless deer is harvested for every four antlerless deer licenses allocated.

In most WMUs, antlerless license allocations were decreased with the move from a seven-day to a 14-day concurrent season. But because deer-population objectives determine harvest goals, and therefore the allocation of antlerless licenses, the allocations are not decreasing everywhere. For example, in WMUs where the deer population is increasing, but the deer management plan goal is to stabilize the population, an increase in harvest is needed. As a result, the antlerless allocation has increased to achieve a higher harvest. In WMUs with chronic wasting disease (CWD), similar increases in allocation and harvest are necessary.

The board retained the antler restrictions that have been in place for adult and senior license holders since the 2011-12 seasons. It remains “three-up” on one side, not counting a brow tine, for the western Wildlife Management Units of 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B and 2D, and three points on one side in all other WMUs. Those exempt from these antler restrictions are mentored youth hunters, junior license holders, disabled hunters with a permit to use a vehicle as a blind and resident active-duty military on leave.

 

FALL TURKEY SEASON CHANGES FINALIZED

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today adopted fall turkey seasons for 2021 and spring gobbler dates for 2022.

One change affecting all fall-turkey hunters is a vote by the board to prohibit the use of centerfire and rimfire rifles and handguns in the fall-turkey season. Season lengths also have been adjusted in many WMUs.

All recommendations on fall turkey season length are made in accordance with guidelines in the Game Commission’s Wild Turkey Management Plan.

The fall season in WMUs 1A, 1B, 4A, 4B, 4D and 4E will be one week (Oct. 30-Nov. 6).

In WMU 2B (shotgun and bow only), the season will run Oct. 30-Nov. 19, with a Thanksgiving season from Nov. 24-26.

In WMUs 2A, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D and 4C, the season will be Oct. 30-Nov. 13.

In WMUs 2C, 2D and 2E, the season will be Oct. 30-Nov. 13 and Nov. 24-26.

In WMU 5B, the season will be from Nov. 2-4.

And in WMUs 5A, 5C and 5D, the season will be closed for fall hunting. WMU 5A had been open to fall turkey hunting in a limited season in previous years.

For the 2022 spring gobbler season, which will run from April 30-May 31, the board continued with legal hunting hours to reflect the following: from April 30-May 14, one-half hour before sunrise until noon; and from May 16-31, one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset.

The one-day Spring Gobbler Youth Hunt will be held on April 23, 2022, from one-half hour before sunrise until noon. All junior license holders and mentored hunters 16 and under can participate in this special half-day hunt, as well as the other spring season dates.

 

 

FINAL 2021-22 HUNTING SEASONS AND BAG LIMITS

SQUIRRELS, Red, Gray, Black and Fox (Combined): Special season for eligible junior hunters, with or without required license Sept. 11-25 (6 daily, 18 in possession limit after first day).

SQUIRRELS, Red, Gray, Black and Fox (Combined): Sept. 11-Nov. 13; Sunday, Nov. 14; Nov. 15-20; Sunday, Nov. 21; Nov. 22-26; Dec. 13-24; and Dec. 27-Feb. 28, 2022 (6 daily, 18 possession).

RUFFED GROUSE: Oct. 16-Nov. 13; Sunday, Nov. 14; Nov. 15-20; Sunday, Nov. 21; Nov. 22-26 and Dec. 13-24 (2 daily, 6 possession).

RABBIT (Cottontail) Special season for eligible junior hunters, with or without required license Oct. 2-Oct. 16 (4 daily, 12 possession).

RABBIT (Cottontail): Oct. 16-Nov. 13; Sunday, Nov. 14; Nov. 15-20; Sunday, Nov. 21; Nov. 22-26; Dec. 13-24 and Dec. 27-Feb. 28, 2022 (4 daily, 12 possession).

PHEASANT: Special season for eligible junior hunters, with or without required licenseOct. 9-16 (2 daily, 6 in possession). Male and female pheasants may be taken in all WMUs. There is no open season for taking pheasants in Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas, except within the Central Susquehanna Wild Pheasant Recovery Area, as authorized by executive order.

PHEASANT: Oct. 23-Nov. 13; Sunday, Nov. 14; Nov. 15-20; Sunday, Nov. 21; Nov. 22-26, Dec. 13-24 and Dec. 27-Feb. 28, 2022 (2 daily, 6 in possession). Male and female pheasants may be taken in all WMUs. There is no open season for taking pheasants in Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas, except within the Central Susquehanna Wild Pheasant Recovery Area, as authorized by executive order.

BOBWHITE QUAIL: Oct. 23-Nov. 13; Sunday, Nov. 14; Nov. 15-20; Sunday, Nov. 21, Nov. 22-26, Dec. 13-24 and Dec. 27-Feb. 28, 2022 (8 daily, 24 possession).

HARES (SNOWSHOE RABBITS) OR VARYING HARES: Dec. 27-Jan. 1, 2022 in all WMUs (1 daily, 3 possession).

WOODCHUCKS (GROUNDHOGS): July 1-Nov. 13; Sunday, Nov. 14; Nov. 15-20; Sunday, Nov. 21; Nov. 22-26 and Dec. 13-June 30, 2022. No limit.

CROWS: July 2-April 10, 2022, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday only. No limit.

STARLINGS AND ENGLISH SPARROWS: No closed season, except during the regular firearms deer season. No limit.

WILD TURKEY (Male or Female): WMU 2B (Shotgun and bow and arrow only) Oct. 30-Nov. 19 and Nov. 24-26; WMUs 1A, 1B, 4A, 4B, 4D and 4E Oct. 30-Nov. 6; WMUs 2A, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D and 4C Oct. 30-Nov. 13; WMUs 2C, 2D and 2E Oct. 30-Nov. 13 and Nov. 24-26; WMU 5B (Shotgun and bow and arrow only) – Nov. 2-4; WMUs 5A, 5C and 5D – CLOSED TO FALL TURKEY HUNTING.

SPRING GOBBLER (Bearded bird only): Special season for eligible junior hunters, with required license, and mentored hunters 16 and under – April 23, 2022. Only 1 spring gobbler may be taken during this hunt. Hunting hours end at noon.

SPRING GOBBLER (Bearded bird only): April 30-May 31, 2022. Daily limit 1, season limit 2. (Second spring gobbler may be only taken by persons who possess a valid special wild turkey license.) From April 30-May 14, legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until noon; from May 16-31, legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset.

BLACK BEAR, ARCHERY (WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D): Sept. 18-Nov. 13; Sunday, Nov. 14; Nov. 15-20; Sunday, Nov. 21 and Nov. 22-26. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR, ARCHERY (WMU 5B): Oct. 2-Nov. 13; Sunday, Nov. 14; and Nov. 15-19. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR, ARCHERY (WMUs 1A, 1B, 2A, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 5A): Oct. 16-Nov. 6.

BLACK BEAR, MUZZLELOADER (Statewide): Oct. 16-23. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR, SPECIAL FIREARMS (Statewide): Oct. 21-23, Junior and Senior License Holders, Disabled Person Permit (to use a vehicle) Holders, and Pennsylvania residents serving on active duty in U.S. Armed Services or in the U.S. Coast Guard only. Also included are persons who have reached or will reach their 65th birthday in the year of the application for a license and hold a valid adult license, or qualify for license and fee exemptions under section 2706. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR (Statewide): Nov. 20; Sunday, Nov. 21; and Nov. 22-23. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR (WMUs 1B, 2C, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 5A): Nov. 27, Sunday, Nov. 28, Nov. 29-Dec. 4. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR (WMUs 2B, 5B, 5C and 5D): Nov. 27, Sunday, Nov. 28, Nov. 29-Dec. 11. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

ELK, ARCHERY: Sept. 11-25.

ELK (Antlered or Antlerless): Nov. 1-6. Only one elk may be taken during the license year.

ELK, LATE: Jan. 1-8, 2022

DEER, ARCHERY (Antlered and Antlerless) WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D: Sept. 18-Nov. 13; Sunday, Nov. 14; Nov. 15-20, Sunday, Nov. 21; Nov. 22-26 and Dec. 27-Jan. 29, 2022. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license. One antlered deer per hunting license year.

DEER, ARCHERY (Antlered and Antlerless) Statewide: Oct. 2-Nov. 13; Sunday, Nov. 14; Nov. 15-19; and Dec. 27-Jan. 17, 2022. One antlered deer per hunting license year. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER, ANTLERLESS MUZZLELOADER (Statewide): Oct. 16-23. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER, ANTLERLESS SPECIAL FIREARMS (Statewide): Oct. 21-23. Junior and Senior License Holders, Mentored Youth Permit Holders, Disabled Person Permit (to use a vehicle) Holders, and Pennsylvania residents serving on active duty in U.S. Armed Services or in the U.S. Coast Guard only, with required antlerless license. Also included are persons who have reached or will reach their 65th birthday in the year of the application for a license and hold a valid adult license, or qualify for license and fee exemptions under section 2706. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER, REGULAR FIREARMS (Antlered and Antlerless) Statewide: Nov. 27; Sunday, Nov. 28; and Nov. 29-Dec. 11. One antlered deer per hunting license year. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER, ANTLERED OR ANTLERLESS FLINTLOCK (Statewide): Dec. 27-Jan. 17, 2022. One antlered deer per hunting license year, or one antlerless deer and an additional antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER, ANTLERED OR ANTLERLESS FLINTLOCK (WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D): Dec. 27-Jan. 29, 2022. One antlered deer per hunting license year, or one antlerless deer and an additional antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER, ANTLERLESS EXTENDED REGULAR FIREARMS: (WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D): Dec. 27-Jan. 29, 2022. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER, ANTLERLESS (Military Bases): Hunting permitted on days established by the U.S. Department of the Army at Letterkenny Army Depot, Franklin County; New Cumberland Army Depot, York County; and Fort Detrick, Raven Rock Site, Adams County. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

 

 

FINAL 2021-22 FURBEARER HUNTING SEASONS

COYOTES: No closed season. Unlimited. Outside of any big game season (deer, bear, elk and turkey), coyotes may be taken with a hunting license or a furtaker license, and without wearing orange. During any big game season, coyotes may be taken while lawfully hunting big game or with a furtaker license.

FOXES: Oct. 23-Feb. 19, 2022; Unlimited. Sunday hunting permitted.

RACCOONS: Oct. 23-Nov. 13; Sunday, Nov. 14; Nov. 15-20; Sunday, Nov. 21; Nov. 22-27; Sunday, Nov. 28; and Nov. 29-Feb. 19, 2022.

OPOSSUM, STRIPED SKUNKS and WEASELS: No closed season, except during the firearms deer season. No Sunday hunting with the exceptions of Nov. 14, Nov. 21 and Nov. 28. No limits.

BOBCAT (WMUs 2A, 2B, 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E): Jan. 8-Feb. 2, 2022. One bobcat per license year. Licensed furtakers may obtain one permit each.

PORCUPINES: Oct. 9-Nov. 13; Sunday, Nov. 14; Nov. 15-20; Sunday, Nov. 21; and Nov. 22-Jan. 29, 2022. (3 daily, season limit of 10).

 

 

FINAL 2021-22 TRAPPING SEASONS

MINKS and MUSKRATS: Nov. 20-Jan. 9, 2022. Unlimited.

COYOTES, FOXES, OPOSSUMS, RACCOONS, STRIPED SKUNKS and WEASELS: Oct. 23-Feb. 20, 2022. No limit.

COYOTES and FOXES, CABLE RESTRAINTS (Statewide): Dec. 26-Feb. 20, 2022. No limit. Participants must pass cable restraint certification course.

BEAVERS (Statewide): Dec. 18-March 31, 2022 (Limits vary depending on WMU).

BOBCATS (WMUs 2A, 2B, 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E): Dec. 18-Jan. 9, 2022. One bobcat per license year. Licensed furtakers may obtain one permit each.

FISHERS (WMUs 1B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E): Dec. 18-Jan. 2, 2022. One fisher per license year. Licensed furtakers may obtain one permit each.

RIVER OTTERS (WMUs 1A, 1B, 2F, 3C and 3D): Feb. 12-19, 2022. One river otter per license year. Licensed furtakers may obtain one permit each.

 

 

FINAL 2021-22 FALCONRY SEASONS

SQUIRRELS (combined): Sept. 1-March 31, 2022 (6 daily, 18 possession).

BOBWHITE QUAIL Sept. 1-March 31, 2022 (8 daily, 24 possession).

RUFFED GROUSE Sept. 1-March 31, 2022 (2 daily, 6 possession).

COTTONTAIL RABBITS Sept. 1-March 31, 2022 (4 daily, 12 possession).

SNOWSHOE OR VARYING HARES Sept. 1-March 31, 2022 (1 daily, 3 possession).

RINGNECK PHEASANTS (Male or Female combined) Sept. 1-March 31, 2022 (2 daily, 6 possession).

No open season during the regular firearms deer season.

No hunting on Sundays with the exceptions of Nov. 14 and Nov. 21.

No open season on other wild birds or mammals.

 

Waterfowl and Migratory Game Bird seasons to be established in accordance with federal regulations at a later date.

 

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MEDIA CONTACT: Travis Lau - 717-705-6541

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